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22/08/2008



peter and jane, or janet and john ...

Remember when our summers used to be like this, being able to spend endless hours down on the beach. Take another look at the picture, what do you think of Dad's trunks!

Peter and Jane, the brother and sister from the Ladybird Key Words Reading Scheme, have helped millions of children round the world to learn to read. I remember in Class 1 of St Wilfrids RC Primary School in Angmering, starting off with book 1a (short sentences of large bold print) and whizzing through the series finishing at book 12c (paragraphs of small print), a novel in comparison.

In the 1950s, educationalists William Murray and J McNally established that 12 words make up a quarter of all those we read and write. A mere 300 form three-quarters of the total number of words found in juvenile reading. The Ladybird Key Words Reading Scheme, written by William Murray, is based on those commonly used words, with 36 graded books plus supplementary readers.

It is the bestselling Ladybird series of all time. Which books did you start reading with?

Some words from this post are taken from the Ladybird Boys and Girls Calendar 2008, and the photo is from the August page. A present I was happy to be given last Christmas.


25 comments:

daffy said...

We used to read Janet & John and I seem to remember a dog called Nip.
Nice memories although it seems soooo long ago!

Simone said...

I've never heard of Peter and Jane books! I started off reading with Janet and John books. I hardly remember them now but I do remember a yellow cover as the front of one of the books!

LizzieJane said...

Thanks for the memory, we read these books at George Spurgen Primary School in Folkestone, such a looooooooong time ago!
I always wanted to look like Jane, weird, huh?

Cowboys and Custard said...

I do remember these Peter & Jane books.. but they were not the books that I first learnt to read with. I started with The Red Book in the Gay Way series..
I managed to buy this book on ebay recently and it was so very nostalgic to see each page that I had laboured over as a 5 year old.

Michele x

nikkipolani said...

I think my very first reading books were Vietnamese ones, but I don't remember. I do recall Bright Eyes about a girl who noticed many details in her life. I just googled the book to see if it's still available, but it looks like the name has been used for a publication layout company, a band, a chick lit book, the movie with Shirley Temple....

BumbleVee said...

Our first readers here were Dick and Jane and their dog named Spot.... sounds like somebody just changed the names...hahhahahah

See Spot run ...See Dick jump.... etc....

prettyshabby said...

I can't remember who I learnt to read with but I do remember a Red Setter (called Pat I think?) so it was whoever owned him!
Have you seen the ladybird book mugs yet? they're so lovely and very nostalgic..my favourite one is the 'play with us' book cover featuring none other than Peter and Jane!

Rachael Rabbit said...

Peter and Jane ... were my first books ... something like this 'Peter likes Jane. Jane likes Peter. Peter likes Pat (that was the dog) ... Pat likes Peter ... and I think they went on like that for several pages ;-) I just can't believe how well Dad's shorts match his spade ;-)

Lucy Bloom said...

I seem to remember Janet and John too, but it was such a long time ago... Later on, I think I must have read every Enid Blyton book ever published!

periwinkle said...

I've recently bought Peter and Jane books for Milo to help teach him to read. I can't remember what I had.
lisa x

Gina said...

Thanks for the flashback Louise! I too read Peter and Jane in infant school (grade 1).. I can remember writing a story that year and searched for the right word..My mum still laughs about it today..over my use of 'big horse' (because)..which seemed to be beyond the beginner level Peter and Jane books! Gx

Nicola said...

I have nominated you for the Brillante blog award. Please see my blog post of today.

dancingonabladeofgrass said...

Did those books have a mustardy yellow textured cover?

I do remember reading them ...

Charli and me said...

We read Dick and Jane in elementry school. I don't know if that was part of the Ladybird series or not. Thanks again for mentioning me on your blog. I hope you are enjoying your weekend.

carolr said...

Louise, your post is inriguing to me since the bulk of my elementary school day involves teaching reading and creative writing. I learned with Dick, Jane, Sally, Puff, Spot, Father, Mother, And Zeke, the gardener. I loved those books! Many of them have been recently reprinted and I have lots in my class library. I even have a Dick and Jane calendar. Now, we have no reading series. Children are taught by selecting their own books, on their own level, and conferencing with the teacher weekly. Teachers teach necessary skills through modeling. So times have changed!

MARIA said...

Hi Luise,
you created really a beautiful place. So beautiful!
I'm going to write about my first books too, you gave me the idea. It was many, many years ago.

Best wishes from Poland
Maria

MARIA said...

I came here from - Charli and Me.
And I enjoyed my time.

Ragged Roses said...

Dick and Dora and Janet and John - I use to love them! The thrill of getting on to another book ...!
Kimx

Sal said...

My mum taught me to read before I went to school and she used... wait for this one!!OMG!.. Beacon Readers!
When I went to school I read the Janet and John books (I loved them).Then the Wide Range readers.

At college,I had to do a massive assignment on children's reading books so I know just about every reading scheme ever published.

When I started teaching,the school used The Happy Trio Reading Scheme (Dick,Jane,Sally Spot, Puff!! You have to laugh!)

After a couple of years,the headmaster told me that we should 'move with the times' and I had to organise the whole school with completely new reading schemes.
We THREW AWAY hundreds of old Dick and Jane books..I didn't even keep one copy!

Funnily enough, I recently won an auction for an old Happy Venture reading book. (Dick and Dora, Nip and Fluff!)I'll blog it one day.

I never really liked the Ladybird reading books,just as nowadays I don't like the Oxford Reading Tree,which is hugely popular ..but the books are too 'samey' for my liking.

I could talk about children's reading books forever...!
I now have a complete set of vintage Janet and John books in my study..it took me ages to collect them as I could not get my hands on 'The Five and a Half Club' for a long time.
I treasure them! I occasionally get them out to show my pupils,who gaze at the pages in disbelief!!

The Dutchess said...

I just discovered the Peter and jane books,i love the illustrations!

Vintage to Victorian said...

Janet and John for me - typically early 1950s!
Sue

Lesley said...

I was a Jant and John girl too...although it was early '70s for me!

I then went on to devour anything by Enid Blyton.

I'm sure all my childhood summers were just like that photo :)

xxx

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

These books aren't familiar to me, although I wonder if they are akin to the "Dick and Jane" and "Tommy and Sally" books we had as primers.

I did however, have a friend in school named "Ladybird"! =)

Jennie said...

ohh Peter and Jane!! Loved reading those when I was little!

Pat said...

We had the Dick and Jane books and I remember feeling that they were very dull as I was already reading way more than "See Dick" "See Jane" "See Dick run," etc. LOL!!